How to choose the best sports bra style for you

Your sports bra is the best training buddy you'll ever have. No, really! Stay with us... it will give you confidence to reach your goals, support you like no other item of clothing, and help you to enjoy being active.

A recent study found that 88% of women wear a bra during sport that doesn't fit them properly. Now that's a lot of discomfort, bounce and chafing going on! It got us thinking about the many customers we've met who have put off exercising for months or years because they've never found the right sports bra for them. Bounce is uncomfortable. Let's face it, it just plain hurts! But for many of these women it was embarrassment that led to them deciding that they œjust weren't a sporty person and shying away from getting help with finding a sports bra.

I was elated to discover that other women dread the idea of running on treadmills, and can be so self-conscious about their breasts in an unsupportive sports bra that they give up exercising... I had these problems in PE at school, and remember I decided to stop trying to join in the activities altogether because of the attention and discomfort it caused. - Elissa

I went to the gym this morning and could run on the treadmill for the first time without feeling embarrassed that my breasts were moving up and down. - Rita

I'm happy to report my boobs no longer smack me in the face when at the gym! I felt human again - for the first time in over 20 years I felt like I didn't want to cut my breasts off! - Amy

Just like us, sports bras come in various shapes and styles. From encapsulation to compression, underwire to wirefree, and low to high impact... the jargon goes on! If you're in need of a D+ cup size sports bra, it's even more important that you get the support you need. So read on as we try to demystify the good, bad and the (yes, occasionally) ugly of the sports bra world for you.
Encapsulation Sports Bra - Usually a full coverage bra, encapsulation styles separate your bust. It doesn't compress, so it's particularly good for larger-breasted women. Many women find this style most comfortable, as each breast is encapsulated inside its own cup (rather than being compressed to your chest). Studies show that an encapsulation sports bra is more suited to D+ cup sized, usually because they are more comfortable and better at reducing breast movement.
Compression Sports Bra - Compression styles keep your breast motion to a minimum by pressing your breasts firmly to your chest. Although an encapsulation sports bra is generally better for reducing discomfort, many women prefer a compression sports bra as it minimises their projection. Compression styles also seem to be preferable for women with smaller cup sizes.
Underwire Sports Bra - Just like an encapsulation sports bra, underwire sports bras are ideal for women who like to have each breast supported and separated. Underwired sports bras are suited for all bust sizes, but are recommended for D cup and up as most women in this category tend to find this style most supportive and comfortable.
Wirefree Sports Bra - A big misconception is that wirefree bras don't offer as much support as wired bras, but this isn't necessarily the case. They are designed and structured differently to offer the best support without wires. A wirefree sports bra will generally compress the bust, as there are no wires to provide separation. Depending on your bust, wirefree sports bras can be the most ideal way to prevent bounce and give you the best support. We also recommend wirefree sports bras for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  Racer Back Sports Bra - Provides sleek shape that hides your straps when wearing a sleeveless top. Most women prefer the racer back style for its comfort, and because it provides a greater range of arm motion without restriction from shoulder straps. Perfect for women who find that their sports bra straps tend to slip off their shoulders, and suitable for both high and low impact activities.
Front Opening Sports Bra - It's a fact that front-fastening sports bras are much easier to get on and off! This style usually lies completely flat, smooth and invisible under your clothing. Front fastening sports bras are also great for keeping your bra straps in place.
The clincher is this: it can be hard to justify spending time and money on something that you're just going to sweat in. But it can also be life-changing. No jokes. We recommend that you try on several types of sports bras and always do the bounce test in your change room. At Brava's Melbourne and Highpoint stores, you can really put your sports bra to the test by using the in-store treadmill to find the style that offers you the best support.

SHOP TO WIN: Purchase any Freya Active Sports Bra during October and you'll go in the draw to win 1 of 4 Sports Packs (valued at over $170)! Each pack includes the new season racing red Freya Active Moulded Crop Top Sports Bra (available in November in sizes 6-18, D-H cup), an Ultimate Armband, gym towel and more. Offer ends 31/10/15.

Got any questions? Want to tell us about your favourite sports bra? Leave a comment below - we'd love to hear from you.